While differences remain, experts are optimistic that the two sides will be able to reach an agreement on trade by March 1, the deadline before the U.S. imposes heightened tariffs on Chinese goods.
The US released a statement on the meetings, alluding to at least one potential concrete commitment on the part of China.
President Donald Trump said on Thursday the United States was having tremendous success in its trade negotiations with China, a day after USA and Chinese officials concluded three days of talks in Beijing.
Notably, in Thursday's press conference in Beijing, Gao avoided verifying some of the specifics of the USTR press release, including the promise for China to purchase increased amounts of US goods as well as the specific list of issues covered.
Washington is pressing Beijing for changes including rolling back plans for government-led creation of Chinese global champions in robotics and other fields.
USTR also said the two sides discussed issues related to intellectual property protections and the need for any agreement to include "complete implementation subject to ongoing verification and effective enforcement".
As for structural reforms that the USA side has requested: "at first, it seems like the U.S.is being overbearing, but thinking carefully, these are actually what the deepening of "opening up reforms" needs"-referring to economic policies pushed by former Party leader Deng Xiaoping in the 1980s that introduced capitalist market forces to China".
China has said it will not give up ground on issues that it perceives as core.
After U.S. -China trade talks ended in Beijing on January 9, the Chinese regime expressed optimism for a breakthrough-and indirectly, willingness to make concessions.
Lu Kang, a spokesman at the Chinese foreign ministry, told reporters that "China-U.S. trade friction is not a positive situation for either country or the world economy", according to Reuters. Forecasters expect American orders to slump this year.
China also restarted purchases of American soybeans last month, providing relief for a crop hit by Chinese retaliatory tariffs. China responded by targeting USA goods valued at $110 billion, the BBC reported.
Companies in both the United States and China are feeling the pain from the effects of the U.S. Previous year it ended restrictions on foreign ownership of EV producers to help spur the industry's growth, and in July Tesla announced plans to build the Gigafactory 3 facility in Shanghai.
A Chinese paramilitary policeman stands guard at the main entrance gate of the Ministry of Commerce in Beijing, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019.
The US delegation, led by Deputy Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish, included representatives from the departments of energy, agriculture, treasury and commerce, while the Chinese side was led by Commerce Vice Minister Wang Shouwen.
U.S. companies also want action on Chinese policies they complain improperly favor local companies.
The U.S. and China gave no indication of next steps after wrapping up mid-level talks in Beijing meant to resolve a tariff fight that threatens to chill global growth and further roil financial markets. If a "REAL" deal with China is possible, the US will "get it done", Trump tweeted shortly after his dinner with Jinping last month.
With cooling economic growth raising the urgency for a settlement, this week's talks went ahead despite tension over the arrest of a Chinese tech executive in Canada on US charges related to possible violations of trade sanctions against Iran.